Category: Music

Golly! Is This the End?

When is death? I would like to tell my fanbase that I am able to answer this question for you. It’s THE question, and I AM DEATH. I should know.

On my side, when I pick up a soul, that usually means a person’s sentient mind and corporeal body are no longer connected. More importantly, the “spirit” has been separated, and that essence is what flows to its next existence. Your IS and your IS NOT co-exist in a non-existent in-betweenness that some people call Heaven, some call Hell, and some call Limbo.

Some people don’t call it anything. And some people say those places exist not after life but during life. They think that the really terrible stuff that happens to them is “Hell” and that the sweet, happy stuff is Heaven.

Let me tell you this: In Heaven, we have several beautiful golf courses, a free gym with lots of machines, jacuzzis, and lovely fluffy towels. And the best part is that you get to meet a lot of the people you’ve admired over your lifetime. Sorry to say that the people you admired most, however, may not have made it to Heaven. We do have standards. You know. Too many sins and you go to the other place.

I’m going to say this about death. It’s not the end. You can quote me. Because you won’t know if I’m telling the truth until, well, until, you’re gone. In the meantime, read DEATHLIST. You’ll get to hear more about Heaven, Hell, death, and me, Death, a.k.a. “Coco.”

Two Attorneys Walk Into a Bar

Lawyer One says to Lawyer Two, “You look awful. What’s up?”

“My dad had a massive stroke. He’s paralyzed from the neck down.”

“I’m so sorry!” They order drinks.”How old is he?”

“He’s 61.”

Silence.

“Whoa. What’s the prognostication?”

“We don’t know yet. Some doctors say he may never walk again. Others say he might be okay after physical therapy. It just depends.”

“On what?”

“They say some of it will be the extent of the damage to the brain. They’re not sure yet. But it’s also a lot about how hard he works to be well again.”

Lawyer One says, “He’s still young! Sixty-one is means he has a lot of good years ahead.”

“Or decades of hell.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Cut to the novel Deathlist, and its thematic question.  

Would You Want To Know When You’re Going To Die? 

Here’s the thing. If you knew you were going to live to be a hundred, would it give you a better motivation to work your fanny off to be able to walk again? OR would you want to be glad you’re still able to read with your eyes? What if you were an artist? Would you somehow learn to hold a paintbrush in your teeth? Paint with your nose? Or as a musician, wouldn’t you like to know how to compose music through a speaking- or singing-to-musical-notation device? ALSO, you could still listen to amazing books and take classes online or at a school!

We don’t know how long we will live, but I’ll tell you that a young man injured in a surfing accident was paralyzed from the neck down. What did he do? He went around to schools to tell teenagers that whatever happens to them, they can still make a life. He was funny and hip with long, blond surfer hair, and he had the kids (middle school, by the way — a tough age to impress) glued to their seats. He didn’t know how long he had to live, but he made himself useful by helping others. Either way, the Deathlist could tell you how long you had and help you make your decision. OR you can make your life how you want it either way.

I’d like to know.

Would You Want To Know When You’re Going To Die? 

Let us know. Go HERE to fill out the short survey. We’ll collect the answers and use yours anonymously (of course) to let people know what others think.

Oh… and the two lawyers? Maybe the dad will find a fulfilling life. From the neck up. We hope so.

P.S.  Here’s the Deathlist book trailer!

Hope for Christmas 2021

‘Twas three weeks before Christmas and all through the towns.

People wore masks that covered their frowns.

The frowns had begun back in 2020 Spring,

When a global pandemic changed everything.

They called it Corona but unlike the beer,

It didn’t bring good times; it didn’t bring cheer.

 

Airplanes were grounded, travel was banned.

Borders were closed across air, sea, and land.

As the world entered lockdown, flattening Covid’s curve,

The economy caved, and folks lost their nerve.

Through spring 2020, we rode the first wave.

People stayed home and tried to behave.

When summer emerged, the lockdown was lifted.

But away from sanity, many folks had drifted.

Now it’s December 2021, and cases are spiking.

Omicron has arrived, much to our disliking.

The last two years have brought sadness aplenty.

We’ll never forget the year 2020.

 

Now we’re nearing another holiday season.

But why be merry? Is there even one reason?

To decorate the house and put up the tree?

Who will see it?  Maybe no one but me.

But outside our window, the rain gently falls

And I think to myself, “Let’s deck the halls!”

So, I gather red ribbons, garlands, and bows.

As I play those old carols, my happiness grows,

Christmas is not canceled and neither is hope,

If we lean on each other, I know we can cope!

How Long Have You Got?

It’s your friend Death here again for a friendly chat.

My team and I have been studying you humans for a long time. You. Are. Awesome. Really. We love to be working so closely with you and we know now why God created you all. You’re very entertaining. Never a dull moment with you guys. From inventions to families to wars to art and music, there is not much your kind hasn’t created. Truly. All of us in heaven love to see what each new day brings in the lives of our human friends.

We are mostly interested in the possibility that some of you are not maximizing your time on the Earth. But that begs the question:

How much time have you got? 

What if you only have a week? A month? A decade? What would you do with each of those? How could you ensure that you have fulfilled your purpose? Do you know what that is?

How much time have you got? 

Did you ever listen to a meditation on prioritization? @AndyPuddicombe’s Headspace app suggests that one way to prioritize is to imagine that this was your last day on earth. Is this the best use of your last day? He even says it sounds morbid. But it’s the truth. You do not know when your time is up. As I collect people’s souls and help them through from their mortal selves to their spiritual existence, many people lament their lack of accomplishment. “I ran out of time? Can I have a little more?” they ask. By the time I arrive, it’s too late.

How much time have you got? 

What if you knew? What would you do? Would you finish your symphony? Your painting? Your education? Be a dancer? Take the architecture course you always wanted to take? What? So, let’s say you can find out how much time you have. That won’t be done until the Deathlist is released from Heaven. It will be coming in the next few years. And. You. Will. Know.

What will you do with the time? And, will you believe it? Is the Deathlist right? Will it tell your exact death date? IF it’s wrong, (it’s not) you will have some extra time. If it’s right, you’ll feel like you should have believed it and done what God put you here to do. SO… long way of saying…

Make the most of the time while you’re here. Because for not, You don’t know how much time you’ve got. But you will soon.

Read The Deathlist, by my friend Kathryn Atkins, and you’ll know all about it.

 

 

 

Dead at 39

Dead at 39

This post is about life and gifts.

Last night, we watched the George Gershwin movie, “Rhapsody in Blue,” made in 1945. The lead was played by Robert Alda, Alan Alda’s dad. Alan Alda was Captain Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running M*A*S*H television series, among other successful roles.

In the Rhapsody in Blue movie, George Gershwin’s key trait was his inability to rest. He was always in a huge hurry to finish the current project so he could start another. It’s easy to say that he was pressed (almost to distraction) to create because he had a sense he would be dead at age 39, but is that possible? 

Did he know? 

He never married. He was as much a failure at romance as he was a success at writing music. His gift came with a cost. Is that true of other gifted people? These talented individuals died early, too. Elvis Presley was 42 at his death, Judy Garland, 47, Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46.  And Robin Williams, 53. 

Did they know?

We all have gifts. Some of us have more than others. Some people’s gifts are more evident to outsiders because movies or plays or musical pieces make the gifts public. For some folks, their gifts are never opened. The gifts are left under life’s tree and are never claimed. Maybe those people are spared the angst of Gershwin, et al. 

Do we know? 

I would like to say my gifts have come with a cost, but they haven’t. I haven’t pursued them to distraction. Is that good or bad? Does every gifted person who pursues their talent die early? No. But on the other hand, what is the cost of not opening your gift, or at least only opening one end? Has that life been a waste? What would have happened if Gershwin lived longer? Garland? Would they have lived longer without the hot pursuit of fame, perfection, creation? What drove them? Would a longer life have been worth it? What were they here to do?

Knowing

My ficitious novel “Deathlist, Death, and the Devil” lets people know how long they have to live. Exacty. How. Long. With or without gifts. With or without using them to build tall buildings, swing a golf club, write an opera, or sing in the choir. 

If you knew you were going to be dead at 39, would you live differently? I would hope I would live my life here forward with a different speed and heightened pressure to finish. For that, I would need to embrace  fearlessness. So I ask…

What would you do if you knew?